The Samoa Voyaging Socety (SVS) works to promote positive Samoan cultural values, respect for the ocean and nature, individual and social responsibility, discipline and integrity.

The SVS considers that the reintroduction of traditional sailing in Samoa will provide opportunities for youth development (sports, leadership), environmental awareness, cultural development and, potentially, tourism opportunities such as whale watching and adventure tours.

SVS is developing hands-on educational and training programmes in traditional sailing and navigation. The programmes will target young Samoan youth including school children, school leavers and other interested groups. The task of learning traditional sailing and navigation skills also develops leadership and discipline among the youth, leading to well-rounded young people capable of contributing positively to the growth of this nation.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

N 13 23.25 W 098 01.024

Riddle of the navigators.

When morning comes I will go.
To he who knows I will show.
Guidance is the light of glow.
For when morning comes I will go.
Who am I?

Permit to converse me with you about this voyage and of a voyage of long ago.

For thousands and thousands of years they [navigators] moved their thoughts silently thru the heavens, accumulating a wealth of knowledge and wisdom and through the power of observation harnessed the language of the stars and the power of the winds, understanding this, it gave them sails to navigate the vastness of the ocean, bridging the shores of each land fall. A feat of great magnitude that gave life to every inhabitable island in the South Pacific.

This was and is their legacy, and Samoa played a major role in navigating and discovering these tiny dots of islands in the Pacific. Gaualofa, arriving first in Hilo in June last year, we discovered that hundreds of years before ,Pili and Pa’au from Samoa discovered Hawaii, Upolu point in the south side of Hilo is a name that bears witness to this discovery and its mentioned in the historical chants in Hawaii. It’s a cultural heritage that we on the Gaualofa are proud of.

Leaving New Zealand for French Polynesia last year we were privileged to have Tua Pitman and Jack Thatcher on board,known navigators, they taught us how to navigate with the stars, with only months at sea the power to observe was limited against a back drop of our fore bears who for thousands of years learnt to converse with the heavens and their natural surroundings.

I’ve come to understand that navigation is a language of harmony, honed through wisdom and understanding not only of their environmental surrounding but of the heavenly bodies and the canoe embodies the mana of man and nature conversing as one. This for me has become a voyage of discovery and rediscovery, for every second breath I take and for you in that matter is from the ocean, the ocean also is home to a vast marine life. I’m no navigator nor a scientist but I am conversing with you in the hope in the of the mana [spirit] of old in a language of harmony and understanding of the fragile environment we now live in. In light of this, it’s like giving of yourself for someone you love for a better hope for the future. On GAUALOFA the young lives that have given up their time to represent Samoa on this historical voyage do so with pride, with the hope for a better tomorrow.

Gaualofa has been home for quite some time now, learning to take care of her and each other has become a metaphor, in taking care of our ocean, we take care of each other. Dreams are the language of the heart, to Dieter Paulman of Okianos foundation encountering a conversation with a white whale set him on a course guided by the stars and a fleet of seven canoes , lives of so many different nations from the Pacific are fused in a language of harmony and understanding a hope of a healthier ocean for a better future.

To those who dared to dream and believe for so long Joe Annendale, Harry Paul, Tony Hill to mention a few names gave birth to Gaualofa and the Samoa Voyaging Society thank you for your courage and your determination , Samoan is voyaging again.

In the beginning of my story was a riddle, with a question, who am I. Perhaps in another conversation, you would share your view . I look forward to conversing with you again.

Fa’afetai John Misky and the Gaualofa crew

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful sharing and writing John. Alofa atu to you, James and the crew.